HIGHLIGHT: NATASSA TRIANTAFILLOU

HIGHLIGHT: NATASSA TRIANTAFILLOU

Her pictures never lack color, clarity, character, or that awe-inducing dose of charm.  Natassa Triantafillou’s (@natassat) Instagram feed is a wonderland of beauty founded on imagination and brilliance.  She possesses the ability to make small things look big, big things look small, and to make nature itself feel even warmer and more intimate.   Natassa’s work has proven to be quite tantalizing in our eyes and her ability to expertly implement Mextures into her creation process has captured our attention even further.  Find out more about Natassa as an individual and as an architect of gorgeous photography as you read below!

For starters my name is Natassa Triantafillou and I’m based in a small town near Athens, Greece called Thiva.  I'm 30 years old and my studies had nothing to do with photography - I studied Financial Banking and Management.  Besides photography in general, editing and learning new and different techniques are also a part of my interests.  I adore my niece and nephew and I enjoy spending time with the people I love.  I'm a big fan of traveling and my goal for 2017 is to visit new places and to learn about new cultures.  The best part of it is that I have found the perfect companion.

WHAT FIRST ATTRACTED YOU TO PHOTOGRAPHY?

My interest started when I bought my first smartphone.  Everyone was talking about this app so I wanted to see what is it about.  I remember my first shot was a snowy landscape, something rare for my hometown.  Back then there was @greekchallenge, a greek hub that was hosting weekly themed contests and I found that very interesting.  It was the first time in my life that I had felt creative and I wanted to discover how far I could take that.  Now I own two DSLR cameras and I can't imagine my life without photography.

HOW HAS SOCIAL MEDIA PLAYED A ROLE IN YOUR WORK?

It all started with social media and it all ends there.  I'm not a professional photographer so I don't have to promote my work, but it is definitely nice to share my creations.  It’s even better when people like them!

Social media keeps you motivated to get better and better.  On social media platforms there are so many different images, so you can easily discover what you like to shoot most, to find new ideas and to become more creative.  For me, social media has played the biggest role in meeting many beautiful people and photographers.  This helped me to take photography to a higher level.

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HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?

I really love to hear the click of the shutter so I tend to shoot everything.  However, as nature-lover, I mostly enjoy shooting anything that has to do with mother nature.  Being out and exploring is the best part of photography.  Landscapes, preferably long exposures and macros, are my passions.  I love to mix impression and expression in my photos.

IS THERE ANYTHING IN SPECIFIC THAT YOU TRY TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR WORK?

I love it when people discover something of themselves in my photos - a memory, a feeling, or perhaps something that they weren’t previously aware of.  Something that they they had never seen or known.  Basically, I would like for them to find some sort of peace in my images and hopefully to motivate them to go outside more and discover this wonderful world we live in.

WHAT DOES YOUR EDITING PROCESS GENERALLY LOOK LIKE?

I can't say that my editing process is always the same, but it does always begin with an emotion.  I always shoot my shots in RAW and then start by editing in Lightroom.  I do all of the typical editing there by playing with crops and straightening, highlights and shadows, clarity and lens corrections.  When something extra is needed I jump to Photoshop, but I still have so many things to learn there.  When it comes to macro shots, I usually use Mextures or some VSCO presets to highlight the atmosphere, to change the tones and to give a moody result.  Mextures is a perfect tool for that.  I play with layers and adjustments until I have the look that I want.

DO YOU FEEL LIKE MEXTURES OFFERS ANYTHING UNIQUE TO YOUR EDITING PROCESS?

I think Mextures stands out precisely because it is so unique.  It's the only app that allows you to add different kinds of layers and effects.  I love how layers affect the tones and atmosphere.  I enjoy trying several formulas and tweaking them just to see how my photo would look and to take ideas from that.  Sometimes this can give you amazing inspiration.

IF YOU WERE GIVING ADVICE ON HOW TO ACCOMPLISH MEXTURES WORK SIMILAR TO YOURS, WHAT ARE THE THINGS YOU’D FIND MOST CRUCIAL TO SHARE?

To accomplish work similar to mine, I would encourage you not to overdo your edit with textures and layers.  Play with opacity and adjustments and always check the blending modes - they are a great option.  I also love the fade tool.  It can change the entire picture.  In the end, be yourself and do what your heart tells you.  Mextures gives you so many options.  It’s a great app that allows you to develop a unique and atmospheric style.  Everyone must try it!

WHAT EXPERIENCE OR INFLUENCE HAS LED YOU TO PROGRESS THE MOST IN YOUR WORK AND STYLE?

That's so difficult to answer because there are so many things, situations, and more than that, people, that have inspired me, pushed me and helped me to continue.  Emotions guide me.  To me, the most important thing is to do what you like and be who you want to be.  The need to get out of my comfort zone is what has led me to progress the most in my work.  Everything I've learned has been by trying and making mistakes.  So go out, explore, try, and Learn.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE PIECE TO CREATE SO FAR?

I could choose many of my shots because I usually get really excited with something new that I’ve captured.  If I had to choose only one shot, I would vote for this one.  I love how a simple photo, in a simple place, can be totally transformed into such a unique piece just by trying out a different perspective.  However, the real magic happened when I used the Mextures app to edit this shot.  If I am correct, this was the first time I had even tried to use Mextures.  I love how Mextures affected the mood, the atmosphere and the tones.  This is my favorite piece because it evokes a special thought and emotion and that makes it memorable to me.

WOULD YOU MIND SHARING A COUPLE OF YOUR OWN FORMULAS WITH US?

I've saved a few formulas even though I never believed that anyone would like to try them!  I believe processing should be different according to your desired color base so here are a few to test out:

IRNMSAJ - Processed with a blue background.  A lot of fade to create a soft and flat result.  I added a source of light and some texture that totally transformed my shot.

VIXJNNK - Minimal edit added to greenish background.  Used only to add the feeling of old and dusty to my shot.  As if the flower is trapped in a natural environment.

TGRUAUY - Even more of fade result with light and exposure to give the feeling of fallen beauty.

WHY IS CREATING IMPORTANT TO YOU?

Creating, with photography especially, is a great way for me to escape from the harsh realities of life.  I forget everything else when I am focused on taking pictures.  It’s like a beautiful journey to a world you’ve imagined and now want to live in.  I believe that I became a better person when I started taking shots.  I learned to focus on the details, to enjoy the smallest of moments and also not to get lost in the whole picture.  Photography is a big chapter in my life.  In the end, I feel so productive when I'm creating!

COULD YOU SHARE SOME OF THE MOST INSPIRING ACCOUNTS YOU FOLLOW?

I'm so happy that I have had the opportunity to connect with so many beautiful people through Instagram.  Some of them have become friends, some have become good, fun company, and some have been an inspiration.  You should definitely checkout the following accounts!

@thrasivoulosp - My favorite account in general and on Instagram.  He encourages me and pushes me to become better and better.  His work is so clean and consistent.  I hope to reach his level of photography and processing skills at some point.

@sisakob - When I started my hub, @naturelover_gr, I noticed this account and I was so jealous of her macro shots.  Perhaps she was the first inspiration for me to start experimenting with macro photography.

@katja_marian - Katja's work is so poetic to me.  It speaks directly to my heart.  I love her moody nature shots and edits. 

@spectatia_ - Anne plays somewhere in between nature, long exposure and architecture photography and I love her work. 

@jude_allen - What can I say about Jude Allen that his 276k followers haven’t already!

@elysabete - Lisa is the sweetest and most supportive girl on Instagram.  I hope that I am able to meet her in person at some point.

If you want to find even more inspiration you should definately check those accounts and these hubs: @mextures@vzcomacro@jaw_dropping_shots@moodygrams.  Of course, I can’t omit the hubs that I manage: @naturelover_gr@greecelover_gr, and @special_shots!

Make sure to check out more of Natassa’s work right here!